Killjoys Review 5×04: Awakened Underdogs

It’s been a while since I’ve explained these two references so I’ll do so now. TAF – Team Awesome Force is the name Turin sardonically named Dutch, Johnny, and D’av’s Killjoys team back when they didn’t trust each other. It stuck and now they are referred to this in earnest by Turin and the rest of the Quad Squad (QS) who is also comprised of Zeph, Pree, Fancy, and Gavin. I don’t remember who exactly coined QS but it was one of the actors on Twitter I think.

“Ship Outta Luck” revisits who Dutch, Johnny, and D’av were when we first met them while keeping the forward momentum of this final arc going. The recitation of their rap sheets coupled with the presence of Korin Jeers, the first person we watched Dutch and Johnny lock and serve pushed the nostalgia meter to maximum.

We saw last week that Khlyen is in the Lady’s ear doing his best to be an asset to TAF, and that includes locking them away in a maximum security prison with orders to keep them alive. It’s not a perfect plan but it’s better than the alternatives.

The Lady exposits her plans and motives to Khlyen because it’s necessary for viewers to follow along, but it’s also fascinating to watch her operate a pilfered human body. She is having some difficulty, indicated by her jerky movements and frequent rants and other expressions of frustration. Her alien mind is motivated by instinct but she has to contend with the labyrinth of emotional memory housed within the chambers of a teenager girl’s mind. Her thoughts are an operating system running on an incompatible bit of hardware.

The Lady’s well-laid plans are beginning to unravel as she realizes that humans aren’t as weak as she first thought, and her control over their memories doesn’t have the same finality in the material world as it does in Green Space. Khlyen can now return to a role he is quite familiar with: that of a tutor. Hullen Khlyen made the mistake of trying to strip away Yala’s human empathy through training her to be a ruthless assassin. Now the living human memory of Khlyen is trying to explain the importance of empathy and hope and give it context so the Lady can grasp it. This is a fascinating turn.

KILLJOYS — “Ship Outta Luck” Episode 504 — Pictured: Luke Macfarlane as D’Avin — (Photo by: Ian Watson/Killjoys V Productions Limited/SYFY)

Over at the SuperMax Prison where the Lady sent TAF to draw out Jaq, Dutch and D’av are on a stakeout for the hot prison warden, so they have a quiet chat about how Johnny is having some residual Dutch-related difficulties after the chicanery in Old Town. I love that Killjoys always has time for a necessary heart to heart among all the fight scenes and chases. The last time D’av was on a stakeout it was with Johnny and they were talking about Dutch, albeit with scrambled memories in place.

Luke MacFarlane is so good at looking like a scary lethal wall of a man, but for scenes like this, he can channel a literal puppy. He thinks Dutch wants to be with Johnny instead of him and Dutch has just enough time to inform him that that’s crazy talk before they need to move on with their task. The incestuousness of this circle of heroes from Pawter (RIP) to Dutch betwixt the Jaqobis Bros should gross me out more, but for some reason, it doesn’t bother me.

Killjoys has a pretty big pool of recurring characters that serve as an ensemble to the three mains. While I’m a bit put out by Fancy’s absence, it’s good to see Turin, Pree, and Zeph finally united in Old Town. (I’m not completely sure why the Lady didn’t kill or detain Pree. He was in the jeep passed out when she captured TAF.) I’m not complaining about Pree working the Westerley part of the storyline. He, Turin, and Zeph make for great banter.

KILLJOYS — “Ship Outta Luck” Episode 504 — Pictured: Patrick Garrow as Turin — (Photo by: Ian Watson/Killjoys V Productions Limited/SYFY)

Speaking of Turin, he’s certainly been through it hasn’t he? It occurs to me that we know very little about him. Is he from the Quad originally? Where is his family? Has he ever been in love? What we do know is that he has been a stalwart presence of grumpy guidance and leadership (with a magnificent mane of hair) since day one. He didn’t like or trust Dutch or her team in the pilot, so we were already predisposed not to like him. But as the twists and turns of the real situation in the Quad became more apparent over the seasons, it was made clear that TAF and Turin want the same thing so they grudgingly accepted each other as allies and ultimately as family.

Turin has had a tremendous arc going from mistrustful curmudgeon to … well the same, BUT he learned some valuable lessons along the way. His dealings with Fancy in “The Wolf You Feed” taught him that fear shouldn’t twist his vigilance into betraying his allies. His relationship with TAF taught him that he doesn’t have to go it alone. He can rely on others, even as he chews them a new one out the side of his mouth.

Patrick Garrow, like Rob Stewart is a veteran actor with a long list of credits to his name. (Shout outs to his short but beautiful turn as Matthew Cole on 12 Monkeys woot, woot!) But I don’t anticipate his hilarious and often poignant, surprisingly principled rendition of Commander Alfred Olyevich Turin ever to leave the pole position in my mind when I think of him.

Roses

  • Warden (Yes, that’s her credit.) looks like she could be Rosario Dawson’s auntie. She fine.
  • Great use of Korin Jeers. Remember how good the pilot was y’all?!
  • “Nucy” calls John “Shawn” which is Aaron Ashmore’s twin brother‘s name lol.
  • It’s fitting that the last season is post-Green since the first season was pre-Green
  • Because of the lack of Green this season feels a lot like the first.
  • Dutch’s innocent round eyed look as her charges are rattled off
  • “Humanity’s resilience doesn’t come from our ability to remember. It comes from our ability to hope.”

Thorns

  • The main mission was kind of boring. I didn’t care about Barlow’s fate at all.
  • As I said, I wish Fancy was with the Quad Squad.
  • Nucy shouldn’t have been introduced in the ep right after her “death.” Let a moment breathe a bit Killjoys. I know you only have 10 episodes but still…
  • Despite the limited time per season, it would be nice to see more of a period of adjustment after being injected with Zeph’s protein blocker. It has to be mind bending to go from living a false life to jumping back into fighter mode in the devastating reality. To be fair, Johnny is not unscathed so perhaps that storyline is the stand in for everyone.

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